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Friday, July 27, 2007

I Finally Did It...

I did it. I finally scrapped. After months of feeling uninspired. I even had fun with it. I prayed real hard today for an outlet for some of the stuff I have been feeling lately. Can't find the words and I didn't feel like crying trying to scrap the emotion I can't seem to name and the thought of finding a good photo to go with it was too much....

So I said screw the deep emotional journaling and find some pics of things that have made you happy lately and scrap. I came up with these. Went to my store room (literally) and pulled out some items from next months kit and I just played with it. Because I did these really just for me, a few of the items aren't in the kits but can be bought on the site. I took pics of these, which is something I never do. I was too lazy to break the scanner out. I will scan them later. If you click the pic, they will get bigger for you so you can read the journaling. TFL :-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Some Pics from Italy and Monacco

I know these are hecka late, but hey better late than never. These are a few of the pics we took in Florence, Ovieto and Pisa. I still have Rome, the Isle of Capri and Pompeii to post. I do believe that we saw some of the most beautiful churches in Italy. I am not Catholic, so they did tend to blend after a while, but the architecture was breathtaking. The leaning tower of Pisa was amazing. They knew it was leaning after the third level, but decided to keep going anyway :-) Men!!! We missed the changing of the guard in Monacco, so I have shots of the scenery, which was gorgeous and tranquil. I also think that Italy is more picturesque than France. We visited a winery here (not like I imagined, it was really a wine shop that offered tastings), one of the oldest churches in the world, saw the David and other pieces of sculpture. Rob and I had a very personal tour of Florence as we walked the entire town looking for the home of Michaelangelo. We never found it, but we did walk the non tourist route and got to see how the regular people live and work. It was kinda cool. We did get a little nervous as we saw less English and heard more Italian :-) Florence also had the best Italian food we tasted on the entire trip. The amount of street vendors in Italy is amazing. I have never seen so many knock offs in my life. The funny thing is that the kids thought the items were real. Umm, lets think a purse that's normally $350 for $45, yeah not real :-) We also visited Assisi were they were setting up so that the pope could give mass there. It was way cool when we actually saw the mass on tv and could say that we had walke dthose same steps and touched those same statues. They had some amazing tapestries in that church and the whole town is on like an upward hill with cobble streets. My legs ached as we made the journey, but I must admit it was gorgeous from the top as we looked down.
My weekend in pictures:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

We Did It !!!!

Went back, checked it out, realized we loved it, and decided to buy it :-) That's that. Now we begin the process of finding a realtor and selling our own home. We signed a contract with a contingency, so we won't be stuck with a double mortgage, you have to remain fiscally responsible. So excited at how right this feels, at the fact it won't be a financial burden, and at the fact that it has all we wanted. Feels like a blessing to me. The final confirmation will be if we can sell our home quickly. Anyone in the market for a four bedroom neo traditional single family home in the STL ????

Lifestyle Changes and Possibly a New Home

Rob and I have decided to make some lifestyle changes that will result in a healthier lifestyle. Not losing weight focused, but being healthier and feeling better about our bodies focused. So we decided to give up fried food except once a week and red meat except once a week. We have also decided to walk after dinner each night as well. I bought some small arm weights and I do arm excersises as we walk the subdivision, which takes nearly an hour. Feel good so far. I would be lying if I said I didn't expect the scale to go down, but we just felt like we weren't respecting our bodies and getting in enough physical activity. Not the case now. We have even increased our water consumption to the full 8 glasses a day. I will admit I am tired of waking up to use the restroom at night, but I fight on for the greater good.

Some other exciting news on the home front: we may be buying a new house. Sometimes you feel like God is blessing you and you want to be cautious, but you don't want to pass your blessing up as well. Rob and I had planned to move in another two years or so into a bigger house. Our house now is big I guess, but we wanted a bit more open space in each area and larger bedrooms. We have filled the house we live in now and we don't have kids yet. So we came across a newly built, never occupied home that the builders are trying to sell. The housing market has slowed a bit and the price of this home is rather high. Well they offerred the house at $55,000 less than the original price and offerred us 6 months no mortgage payments if we go through their financer. The house has everything we wanted, larger spaces, gourmet kitchen (double ovens, cook top) hardwood floors, larger bedrooms, a master suite with a sitting room, brick front, and an open floor plan. It is only 5 minutes from our current home and the neighboorhood is almost built. Our only true dislike is the yard. It has a hill of some sort, but we figure we can have it leveled a bit later on. We are going back to look at it today and maybe to write a contingency that we will buy if we sell our home. This is kinda exciting. Not looking forward to packing, cleaning, staging our home, or trying to sell, but this seems like a fabulous blessing. No way we could afford this house at regular price, it is almost $100,000 more than our current home. Defintiely feels like a blessing. So pray for us. We know if it is meant than God will allow a smooth passage for us as he had done when we built our first home almost 3 years ago.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

My first Mini-Album :-)

Here are the pics of the mini album I have been working on. My first mini album to be exact. I really love it and I LOVE the Prima papers in the book. This mini album project is available at Color Your Memories . All the supplies needed to complete the album are included (plus the album) and all of the papers are pre-cut for you, so you spend your time mixing and matching, adding your pics, and writing down your memories. A great low stress way to preserve your memories in a smaller format :-) And it is only $15 which is a bargain b/c it has over $22 worth of products.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Erin Bode and Photography Lesson

We went to the free park concert last night for Erin Bode and it was great. We had so much fun. The weather was cooperative, she had a talented opening act and she sang my fave songs. Erin has the most melodic voice ever. We had our chairs, a packed dinner, and wine coolers. Can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday night in the summer :-)

Here are a few pics from last night. My photography homework involved changing the ISO in low light situations. Since the concert didn't start till after 7pm it was the perfect situation. The real purple pic of Erin is at ISO 100, the brighter pic is at ISO 1600. Cool difference. Learned something with that homework assignment. The blue umbrella, just because I saw it, liked the colors, and liked the lines :-)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Side Notes and Harry Potter

What can bring me out of blog review of the Harry Potter movie of course. I am an avid fan. I read the books, analyze the plots and read HP message boards. I did not like the movie. My thoughts: "I was not pleased. I know you have to leave stuff out, I am fine with that, but I didn't like how they added material that wasn't there. I guess I become a purist when they add, but not when they leave out. Plus, I thought they left out some key info like Kreachers betrayal, Snape's role in OOTP, the locket in Sirius's home. My hubby doesn't read the books and he thought it was okay. " Maybe it was entertaining, but I was so disturbed that I was yelling that's not how it happened the whole movie and I was answering plot questions for my husband. I still say go see it and make your own choice, but this semi-purist wasn't pleased.

Side Note 1: only 11 more practices until Regional cheer competition and the girls are driving me insane. I haven't had one practice where everyone was in attendance and the stunts aren't hitting. Say a prayer for them.

Side Note 2: went to a sorority sister/good friend wedding reception this weekend. It was held on the ISU campus and it was a wonderfully nostalgic feeling. I took photos of everything that had significance for me and plan to do a mini album with the pics. The reception was great, very classy and I got to see people I haven't seen since I graduated 5 years ago. That was the best.

Side Note 3: I think I haven't been blogging b/c I have stuff on my mind and it kinda blocks out the day to day okay stuff that happens. So maybe if I just say it, I can feel comfortable about blogging the everyday stuff again. On the 23rd, I find out if I have cervical cancer or not, which is kinda emotional. I am praying for the best and praying for strength to handle whatever situation God presents. Feeling like I have done things in my life that put me at a higher risk also is a little hard to deal with. So there. Plus, the business is growing, but not as quickly as I anticipated, hoped and prayed for. I am not failing, but I am used to experiencing success so quickly that this process is challenging to me. I have learned a lot, but I keep wondering if there is something else. Plus, my mojo is missing b/c everything is focusing on the business. I miss just playing with paper.

Anyhoo, that's me where I am today. Rob is taking me to an Erin Bode concert tonight. Oh my how I love her jazz music. Check her out if you don't know who she is :-) Luv ya !!!!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Trip Pictures and Journaling for Paris

***** I am dividing my pictures and journaling into multiple posts (if you read below you will understand why). This is for Paris only :-) Pictures are straight out of camera. I haven't played with them, so excuse them if some are funky looking :-) LOL *****

Okay, for all those who have been hounding me :-) :-) :-) Sorry it took so long. The trip was an amazing two weeks and allowed me to check some travel spots off my list. We went to Paris, Nice, Cannes, Rome, Pompeii, Isle of Capri, Monacco, Tuscany region, Pisa and Vatican city. Yes, we kept it moving for two weeks. Paris was great. The people were a lot nicer than reported. If you respect their culture an dshow a desire to learn, than they are super nice people. Rob and I sat at side walk cafes and drank wine and ate crepes and sandwiches. We went up the Eifle Tower, which isn't as pretty as you would think, except at night when it is lit up. The view from there is spectacular though. The lines can be up to 2 hours. We were with a large group, so we didn't wait that long. We saw Notre Dame. I didn't climb the hundreds of stairs, but my sister did.
We went to the palace of Versailles, which was AMAZING. The opulence in which the king lived was out of this world. We had a great tour guide for this part of had some little known secrets about each part of the castle we visited. For example: the king would sneak back to his bedroom from his mistress bed each night because the day couldn't start unless the king was in his bed when they pulled back the
curtains so people could admire him. At parties they would pull chamber pots out in the middle of the floor and use the restroom in front of everyone. The king only took a bath once a year because he feared a bath opened your pores up to disease. The gorunds around the castle were wonderful as well. So very detailed with a maze on the premises.
We went to the Louve. The art gallery is HUGE. It could take you weeks to walk through each floor and each hall and really look at the pieces. We saw the most famous of course: The Mona Lisa (not impressed). I was expectng so much more. And yes, I think she is smiling. We saw the Venus de Milo (unbelievable detail), and Winged Victory. I would love to visit the museum again. My feet hurt so bad from all the walking our tour group was doing, that I just wanted to sit down after I saw these famous pieces. We did not do it justice. We also visited the Moulin Rouge, which is in like a Red light district. Very risque.
There were tons of famous designer shops at designer prices. I never realized the importance of the value of the American dollar before. Buying something for forty euros was like buying it for sixty dollars. Very expensive exchange rate. I did buy a bronze statue of a woman wearing my sorority colors :-) I could not resist. I bought one expensive piece in each of the regoins we visited and very few knick knacks. I have to collect magnets and post cards.
Europeans have no concept of fast food like here in America. I believe we saw 1 McDonalds and thatw as it. Fast food there consists of sandwiches in various forms: cheese, ham and cheese, pizza sauce and cheese, tomatoe and cheese. My fave part....all the cheese. I was in heaven. However, I was extremely tired of ham and cheese on french bread :-) I did as the natives did though. They also walk EVERYWHERE. They are extremely fit in my opinion.
Rob and I loved Paris. We want to visit agin, when we are not with a tour group, so we can do more sitting, eating, drinking, and people watching. That's how we like to vacation. LOL. I think I will do the lower region of France next. STAY TUNED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!